Alliant International University is a private, non-profit higher education institution based in San Diego, California, United States. The university is also known synonymously as Alliant. It offers programs in six California campuses—in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Irvine, Sacramento, and Fresno—and four international campuses—in Mexico City, Mexico; Tokyo, Japan; Hong Kong; and Nairobi, Kenya.Its enrollment is approximately 4,000 students, of whom 95% are post-graduate. Wikipedia.
News Article | May 26, 2017
Small, randomized clinical trial reported measurable, but transient, benefits after single dose of suramin, highlighting novel causative theory and need for more, larger and longer trials In a small, randomized Phase I/II clinical trial (SAT1), researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine say a 100-year-old drug called suramin, originally developed to treat African sleeping sickness, was safely administered to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who subsequently displayed measurable, but transient, improvement in core symptoms of autism. ASD encompasses a group of developmental disorders, often characterized by communication and language difficulties, repetitive behaviors and inability to socialize. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that ASD occurs in 1 in 68 children, with the condition 4 times more common in boys than girls. ASD has no single known cause, but may involve both genetic problems and environmental factors, such as viral infections, pollutants or complications during pregnancy. One of the aims of the SAT1 study was to test the cell danger hypothesis as a possible unifying theory that contributes to the pathogenesis of ASD. Writing in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, first author Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, pediatrics and pathology at UC San Diego School of Medicine and colleagues describe a novel double-blind, placebo-controlled safety study involving 10 boys, ages 5 to 14 years, all diagnosed with ASD. Five of the 10 boys received a single, intravenous infusion of suramin, a drug originally developed in 1916 to treat trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) and river blindness, both caused by parasites. The other five boys received a placebo. The trial followed earlier testing in a mouse model of autism in which a single dose of suramin temporarily reversed symptoms of the neurological disorder. The results in humans were equally notable, though the purpose of the SAT1 trial was fundamentally to test the researchers' underlying theory about a unifying cause for autism and to assess the safety of suramin, which is not an approved treatment of ASD. In fact, there are no approved drugs to treat the core symptoms of ASD. All five boys who received the suramin infusion displayed improvements in language and social behavior, restricted or repetitive behaviors and coping skills. Assessment of improvements was based upon observational examinations and interviews using standardized tests and questionnaires, such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd edition (ADOS-2), the Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Testing (EOWPWT), the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC), the Repetitive Behavior Questionnaire (RBQ) and the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) questionnaire. To minimize misinterpretation of natural day-to-day variations in symptoms, parents were asked to mark a symptom as changed in the 6-week CGI only if the symptom lasted for at least one week. The researchers found that ADOS-2 scores were improved in the suramin treatment group at six weeks, but not in the placebo group. Specifically, ADOS-2 scores improved by -1.6 points in the suramin group, but did not change in the placebo. Children who have a score of 6 or lower in ADOS-2 may have milder symptoms but no longer meet the formal diagnostic criteria for ASD. A score of 7 to 8 indicates the child is on the autism spectrum. Nine and above classifies the child as autistic. Suramin treatment was also associated with improvements in the ABC, ATEC and CGI measurements, but not RBQ. The most changed behaviors, the authors said, were social communication and play, speech and language, calm and focus, repetitive behaviors and coping skills. Participating families also reported benefits among the children who received suramin. "We saw improvements in our son after suramin that we have never seen before," said the parent of a 14-year-old who had not spoken a complete sentence in 12 years. "Within an hour after the infusion, he started to make more eye contact with the doctor and nurses in the room. There was a new calmness at times, but also more emotion at other times. He started to show an interest in playing hide-and-seek with his 16-year-old brother. He started practicing making new sounds around the house. He started seeking out his dad more. "We have tried every new treatment out there for over 10 years. Nothing has come close to all the changes in language and social interaction and new interests that we saw after suramin. We saw our son advance almost three years in development in just six weeks." Naviaux, who is co-director of the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center at UC San Diego, believes that ASD -- and several other chronic conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome and some autoimmune disorders -- are caused by metabolic dysfunction or impaired communication between cells in the brain, gut and immune system. Specifically, this dysfunction is caused by abnormal persistence of the cell danger response (CDR), a natural and universal cellular reaction to injury or stress. "The purpose of CDR is to help protect the cell and jump-start the healing process," said Naviaux, by essentially causing the cell to harden its membranes, cease interaction with neighbors and withdraw within itself until the danger has passed. "But sometimes CDR gets stuck," Naviaux said. "This prevents completion of the natural healing cycle and can permanently alter the way the cell responds to the world. When this happens, cells behave as if they are still injured or in imminent danger, even though the original cause of the injury or threat has passed." At the molecular level, cellular homeostasis or equilibrium is altered, creating an abnormal cellular response that leads to chronic disease. "When this happens during early child development," said Naviaux, "it causes autism and many other chronic childhood disorders." Suramin works by inhibiting the signaling function of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a nucleotide or small molecule produced by cellular mitochondria and released from the cell as a danger signal. When CDR is activated, the effect of extracellular ATP is similar to a warning siren that never stops. Suramin inhibits the binding of ATP and similar molecules to key purinergic receptors, according to Naviaux. It silences the siren, "signaling the cellular war is over, the danger has passed and cells can return to 'peacetime' jobs like normal neurodevelopment, growth and healing." "There is evidence, gathered over the past 10 to 15 years, that children with ASD can exhibit oxidative stress, an outcome of the cell danger response," said Pat Levitt, PhD, Simms/Mann Chair in Developmental Neurogenetics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and W.M. Keck Provost Professor in Neurogenetics at Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. "This can impact how well neurons and circuits function. Why this would impose problems on certain circuits that mediate specific behaviors, such as social communication, is unclear, but this is why understanding how genetic risk and environmental factors combine to increase risk for autism spectrum disorder is important." Levitt was not involved in the study. "We had four non-verbal children in the study," said Naviaux, "two 6-year-olds and two 14-year-olds. The six-year-old and the 14-year-old who received suramin said the first sentences of their lives about one week after the single suramin infusion. This did not happen in any of the children given the placebo." Additionally, Naviaux said, "that during the time the children were on suramin, benefit from all their usual therapies and enrichment programs increased dramatically. Once suramin removed the roadblocks to development, the benefit from speech therapy, occupational therapy, applied behavioral analysis and even from playing games with other children during recess at school skyrocketed. Suramin was synergistic with their other therapies." Naviaux and colleagues do not believe CDR is the cause of ASD, but rather a fundamental driver that combines with other factors, such as genetics or environmental toxins. And suramin, at this stage, is not the ultimate answer. Unlike treatment for African sleeping sickness, which involves multiple, higher doses of suramin over a period of time and frequently results in a number of adverse side effects ranging from nausea and diarrhea to low blood pressure and kidney problems, researchers said the single, low dose of suramin used in the ASD trial produced no serious side effects beyond a passing skin rash. But the therapeutic benefit of suramin was temporary: Improvements in the treated boys' cognitive functions and behaviors peaked and then gradually faded after several weeks as the single dose of suramin wore off. The primary import of the trial's findings, said Naviaux, is that it points a way forward, that suramin should be tested in larger, more diverse cohorts of persons with ASD. (Naviaux said his research has been limited by costs; his lab is primarily supported through philanthropy.) "This work is new and this type of clinical trial is expensive," he said. "We did not have enough funding to do a larger study. And even with the funding we were able to raise, we had to go $500,000 in debt to complete the trial." Larger and longer trials would include multiple doses of suramin over longer periods of time, allowing researchers to map whether improvements continue or if uncommon side effects appear when participant numbers are greater. Andrew W. Zimmerman, MD, a clinical professor of pediatrics and neurology at the UMass Memorial Medical Center who was not involved in the suramin trial but is conducting similar research, described the study results as "very encouraging for the field of autism, not only for the positive effects of suramin for the children who received the drug, but also for confirmation of the important 'cell danger response.' "As the authors point out, many genetic variants have been found in ASD, but few have led to specific treatments. The CDR includes a number of metabolic pathways that may be affected by a number of genetic mutations or by environmental factors that have effects epigenetically -- beyond the genes themselves." The Food and Drug Administration has not approved suramin for any therapeutic use in the United States. It is not commercially available. Naviaux noted that new trials could prove suramin is not an effective ASD treatment. Its benefits may prove too limited over the long term, he said, or an unacceptable safety issue might arise. But "even if suramin itself is not the best antipurinergic drug for autism, our studies have helped blaze the trail for the development of new antipurinergic drugs that might be even better," said Naviaux. "Before our work, no one knew that purinergic signaling abnormalities were a part of autism. Now we do, and new drugs can be developed rationally and systematically." Levitt at USC agreed: "The suramin pilot study is too small from which to draw specific conclusions about the treatment, but there is no doubt that the pilot study reports positive outcomes for all five children who received the medication. The findings provide a strong rationale for developing a larger study that can probe functional improvements in children in greater depth." The potential financial cost of ASD treatment using suramin cannot yet be determined for several reasons, the study authors said. First, additional trials are required to determine the effective dosage and frequency for different types of patients. Suramin is used much differently for treating sleeping sickness, but the cost for a one month course of treatment is modest: approximately $27. Second, the age of the drug means that, if approved, it would almost certainly result in cheaper, generic formulations, but there is no way to accurately predict how that would play out at this time. John Rodakis, founder and president of the N of One: Autism Research Foundation, which provided funding support for the study, said that despite all of the necessary caveats and need for additional research, the findings are "promising, hopeful work for a community of affected families that have been given little in the way of answers by medicine." Suramin is not approved for the treatment of autism. Like many intravenous drugs, when administered improperly by untrained personnel, at the wrong dose and schedule, without careful measurement of drug levels and monitoring for toxicity, suramin can cause harm. Careful clinical trials will be needed over several years at several sites to learn how to use low-dose suramin safely in autism, and to identify drug-drug interactions and rare side effects that cannot currently be predicted. We strongly caution against the unauthorized use of suramin. Co-authors include: Brooke Curtis and Alan Lincoln, Alliant International University; Kefeng Li, Jane C. Naviaux, A. Taylor Bright, Gail E. Reiner, Marissa Westerfield, William A. Alaynick, Lin Wang, Edmund V. Capparelli, Cynthia Adams, Ji Sun, Sonia Jain, Feng He, Deyna A. Arellano, Lisa E. Mash, Leanne Chukoskie, and senior author Jeanne Townsend, UC San Diego; and Suzanne Goh, Pediatric Neurology Therapeutics. Disclosure: Robert Naviaux has filed a provisional patent application related to antipurinergic therapy of autism and related disorders. He is a scientific board member for the Autism Research Institute and the Open Medicine Foundation. Edmund V. Capparelli is a DSMB member for Cempra Pharmaceuticals and The Medicines Company, and a consultant for Alexion. Suzanne Goh is co-owner of MitoMedical. For non-media information: Contact the Naviaux lab at naviauxlab.ucsd.edu
News Article | May 13, 2017
San Diego, CA, May 13, 2017 --( With a mission to support post-secondary students as they prepare for careers of service and leadership that improve lives in underserved communities, AEF has hired Brown to lead the organization in outreach to foundations, corporations, individuals and the community at-large, forming strategic partnerships, and helping increase the amount of support AEF provides. As CEO, Brown will also be responsible for maintaining AEF’s relationship with Alliant International University, building connections within the community, managing staff and financial operations, and collaborating with AEF’s board of directors. “Our talented staff and engaged board of directors are ready to take the next big leap in growing the foundation and its impact,” said Gonzalo Garreton, chairman of AEF’s board of directors. “We trust Valin’s leadership and experience will help move the organization forward in collaborating with other entities and organizations that share our passion for education.” With more than 15 years’ experience managing education-related nonprofits, Brown most recently served as senior vice president and chief development officer for United Way of San Diego County, overseeing all fundraising, marketing and volunteer engagement efforts. He spent six years as chief executive officer for the Carlsbad Educational Foundation, and another six as executive director for Colorado Bright Beginnings in Denver. Brown previously served as regional manager for the Metro Denver Bright Beginnings/Mile High United Way, and manager of community initiatives for United Way of Knoxville in Tennessee. He holds a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Northwestern University. Since its inception in 2015, AEF has committed $2 million to Alliant International University’s student scholarship support. The organization has also pledged an additional $3 million over the next two years to ensure that students with the passion to make a difference can pursue their educational goals. To learn more or make a donation to the Alliant Educational Foundation, visit www.allianteducationalfoundation.org. About Alliant Educational Foundation The Alliant Educational Foundation (AEF) was established in 2015 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. AEF’s mandate is to partner with Alliant International University and other institutions of higher education to provide a steady stream of funding and resources dedicated to supporting student scholarships and faculty research grants that will enhance academic outcomes. AEF’s mission is to support post-secondary students from a diversity of backgrounds as they prepare for careers of service and leadership that improve lives in underserved communities. For more information, visit www.allianteducationalfoundation.org. San Diego, CA, May 13, 2017 --( PR.com )-- The Alliant Educational Foundation (AEF) has named Valin Brown as its new chief executive officer. AEF is a nonprofit organization that partners with Alliant International University and other institutions of higher education to provide funding and resources to support student scholarships and faculty research grants.With a mission to support post-secondary students as they prepare for careers of service and leadership that improve lives in underserved communities, AEF has hired Brown to lead the organization in outreach to foundations, corporations, individuals and the community at-large, forming strategic partnerships, and helping increase the amount of support AEF provides.As CEO, Brown will also be responsible for maintaining AEF’s relationship with Alliant International University, building connections within the community, managing staff and financial operations, and collaborating with AEF’s board of directors.“Our talented staff and engaged board of directors are ready to take the next big leap in growing the foundation and its impact,” said Gonzalo Garreton, chairman of AEF’s board of directors. “We trust Valin’s leadership and experience will help move the organization forward in collaborating with other entities and organizations that share our passion for education.”With more than 15 years’ experience managing education-related nonprofits, Brown most recently served as senior vice president and chief development officer for United Way of San Diego County, overseeing all fundraising, marketing and volunteer engagement efforts. He spent six years as chief executive officer for the Carlsbad Educational Foundation, and another six as executive director for Colorado Bright Beginnings in Denver. Brown previously served as regional manager for the Metro Denver Bright Beginnings/Mile High United Way, and manager of community initiatives for United Way of Knoxville in Tennessee. He holds a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Northwestern University.Since its inception in 2015, AEF has committed $2 million to Alliant International University’s student scholarship support. The organization has also pledged an additional $3 million over the next two years to ensure that students with the passion to make a difference can pursue their educational goals.To learn more or make a donation to the Alliant Educational Foundation, visit www.allianteducationalfoundation.org.About Alliant Educational FoundationThe Alliant Educational Foundation (AEF) was established in 2015 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. AEF’s mandate is to partner with Alliant International University and other institutions of higher education to provide a steady stream of funding and resources dedicated to supporting student scholarships and faculty research grants that will enhance academic outcomes. AEF’s mission is to support post-secondary students from a diversity of backgrounds as they prepare for careers of service and leadership that improve lives in underserved communities. For more information, visit www.allianteducationalfoundation.org. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Alliant Educational Foundation
Khan A.J.,San Diego State University |
Nair A.,San Diego State University |
Keown C.L.,University of California at San Diego |
Datko M.C.,University of California at San Diego |
And 2 more authors.
Biological Psychiatry | Year: 2015
Background The cerebellum plays important roles in sensori-motor and supramodal cognitive functions. Cellular, volumetric, and functional abnormalities of the cerebellum have been found in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but no comprehensive investigation of cerebro-cerebellar connectivity in ASD is available. Methods We used resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging in 56 children and adolescents (28 subjects with ASD, 28 typically developing subjects) 8-17 years old. Partial and total correlation analyses were performed for unilateral regions of interest (ROIs), distinguished in two broad domains as sensori-motor (premotor/primary motor, somatosensory, superior temporal, and occipital) and supramodal (prefrontal, posterior parietal, and inferior and middle temporal). Results There were three main findings: 1) Total correlation analyses showed predominant cerebro-cerebellar functional overconnectivity in the ASD group; 2) partial correlation analyses that emphasized domain specificity (sensori-motor vs. supramodal) indicated a pattern of robustly increased connectivity in the ASD group (compared with the typically developing group) for sensori-motor ROIs but predominantly reduced connectivity for supramodal ROIs; and 3) this atypical pattern of connectivity was supported by significantly increased noncanonical connections (between sensori-motor cerebral and supramodal cerebellar ROIs and vice versa) in the ASD group. Conclusions Our findings indicate that sensori-motor intrinsic functional connectivity is atypically increased in ASD, at the expense of connectivity supporting cerebellar participation in supramodal cognition. © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry.
Samuelson K.W.,Alliant International University |
Samuelson K.W.,Mental Health Research
Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience | Year: 2011
Declarative memory dysfunction is associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This paper reviews this literature and presents two frameworks to explain the nature of this dysfunction: that memory deficits are a product of neurobiological abnormalities caused by PTSD andlor that pre-existing memory deficits serve as a risk factor for the development of PTSD following trauma exposure. Brain regions implicated in declarative memory deficits include the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, and imaging and biochemistry studies as they relate to memory dysfunction are described. Prospective and twin studies provide support for a risk factor model.
Woolley S.R.,Alliant International University
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy | Year: 2010
Doctoral education in marital and family therapy (MFT) plays a crucial role in the future of the field. In this article, I write about the purposes, diversities, and futures of MFT doctoral education from the perspective of having hired 18 full-time MFT faculty over the last 13 years. I argue that the field needs well-rounded doctoral-level academics and clinicians who have a solid understanding of the foundations of the field and have mastery around theory, clinical practice, and scholarship in order to advance the profession of Marriage and Family Therapy. © 2010 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
Morales E.,Alliant International University
Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling | Year: 2013
Latinos and Latinas (Latin@s) lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBTs) attempting to enter into the U.S. experience significant challenges that are systemic in the processes and application of the U.S. immigration laws. Latin@s are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States according to the Office of the U.S. Census 2010 data. The foci of this article are to review the challenges in obtaining entry and a U.S. visa from those in Latin America, to examine the extent of reported violence experienced by Latin@ LGBTs, to understand the major ways LGBTs are targeted in Latin America that motivates them to seek refuge, and to illustrate ways health and human services providers can intervene. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Lambert J.E.,Alliant International University |
Holzer J.,Alliant International University |
Hasbun A.,Alliant International University
Journal of Traumatic Stress | Year: 2014
The authors conducted a meta-analysis of studies on the correlation between parents' PTSD symptom severity and children's psychological status. An extensive search of the literature yielded 550 studies that were screened for inclusion criteria (i.e., parent assessed for PTSD, child assessed for distress or behavioral problems, associations between parent PTSD and child status examined). Sixty-two studies were further reviewed, resulting in a final sample of 42 studies. Results yielded a moderate overall effect size r = .35. The authors compared effect sizes for studies where only the parent was exposed to a potentially traumatic event to studies where both parents and children were exposed. A series of moderators related to sample characteristics (sex of parent, type of traumatic event) and study methods (self-report vs. diagnostic interview, type of child assessment administered) were also evaluated. The only significant moderator was type of trauma; the effect size was larger for studies with parent-child dyads who were both exposed to interpersonal trauma (r = .46) than for combat veterans and their children (r = .27) and civilian parent-child dyads who were both exposed to war (r = .25). Results support the importance of considering the family context of trauma survivors and highlight areas for future research. Copyright © 2014 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
Kluemper N.S.,Alliant International University
Journal of Interpersonal Violence | Year: 2014
This is a personal story regarding one woman’s experience of serving as a case study protagonist and later having a psychologist uncover her identity and retell her life story in the name of scientific investigative journalism. As a participant in a psychological case report, I believed that my confidentiality would be protected. Unfortunately, this case study participant found herself in the middle of the Memory Wars, and that turned out to be the catalyst for an unwanted inquiry into my life. A well-known memory researcher hired a private investigator to find me, gained access to a great deal of private information about me, and published this in detail without my permission. I discuss in this article how these actions affected my life in some very serious ways. I raise several issues about the meaning of my experience for further case study authors and the clients whose lives they present, as well as questions about the duties of psychologists to the subjects of their research and inquiry. © The Author(s) 2014.
Dalenberg C.J.,Alliant International University
Journal of Interpersonal Violence | Year: 2014
This article is a discussion of the articles by Nicole Taus Kluemper, Erna Olafson, Frank Putnam, Laura Brown, Ross Cheit, and Gerald Koocher. The papers center on the issues raised by a decision by two psychologists to break the confidentiality of a case study published by David Corwin and Erna Olafson to gather information to support an alternative theoretical view of the case. The article reviews best understandings of the justifications proposed by the psychologists, who saw themselves as investigative reporters, discusses the papers that have been submitted, and proposes enhanced ethical guidelines and increased professional discussion of these issues. © The Author(s) 2014.
Smith K.,Alliant International University
The Clinical neuropsychologist | Year: 2014
The purpose of this archival study was to identify performance validity tests (PVTs) and standard IQ and neurocognitive test scores, which singly or in combination, differentiate credible patients of low IQ (FSIQ ≤ 75; n = 55) from non-credible patients. We compared the credible participants against a sample of 74 non-credible patients who appeared to have been attempting to feign low intelligence specifically (FSIQ ≤ 75), as well as a larger non-credible sample (n = 383) unselected for IQ. The entire non-credible group scored significantly higher than the credible participants on measures of verbal crystallized intelligence/semantic memory and manipulation of overlearned information, while the credible group performed significantly better on many processing speed and memory tests. Additionally, credible women showed faster finger-tapping speeds than non-credible women. The credible group also scored significantly higher than the non-credible subgroup with low IQ scores on measures of attention, visual perceptual/spatial tasks, processing speed, verbal learning/list learning, and visual memory, and credible women continued to outperform non-credible women on finger tapping. When cut-offs were selected to maintain approximately 90% specificity in the credible group, sensitivity rates were highest for verbal and visual memory measures (i.e., TOMM trials 1 and 2; Warrington Words correct and time; Rey Word Recognition Test total; RAVLT Effort Equation, Trial 5, total across learning trials, short delay, recognition, and RAVLT/RO discriminant function; and Digit Symbol recognition), followed by select attentional PVT scores (i.e., b Test omissions and time to recite four digits forward). When failure rates were tabulated across seven most sensitive scores, a cut-off of ≥ 2 failures was associated with 85.4% specificity and 85.7% sensitivity, while a cut-off of ≥ 3 failures resulted in 95.1% specificity and 66.0% sensitivity. Results are discussed in light of extant literature and directions for future research.